June 29, 2012

Review: Giants Beware!

Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre, illustrated by Rafael Rosado


Claudette doesn't dream of being a princess like most young ladies, instead she dreams of becoming a giant slayer. So after some clever trickery, she sets off with her best friend Marie and her pastry chef wanna be brother Gaston to fulfill her dream. The illustrations in this smart, zany graphic novel fit the story very well. I highly recommend this book for fans of twisted fairy tales or funny graphic novels.  It's appropriate for middle elementary age students and above. Adults will find humorous references that students might miss. This was a great read!

This review is based on a publisher supplied electronic copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

June 20, 2012

Online Book Club


Earlier this month, I participated in my first book club. I've done a couple of them for professional books through work, but this is the first time I've done one for a book for pleasure reading. The book was Lois Lowry's The Giver, which has been on my "Want To Read" list for a very long time.

The experience was excellent.  Although we read the book a different rates, there were two threads of discussion on the online discussion board, one for spoilers and one for non-spoiler comments. This kept me (one of the slower readers) from any unexpected surprises.

Each member of the group was able to contribute their thoughts and questions and through these I was able to see things in the novel that I would not have be reading it only for myself. I feel as though I got a much deeper look into the book than I would have on my own.

This was the perfect book to use for an online book club, as it left so many unanswered questions.  Next month, we'll be reading the companion book Gathering Blue .  I'm looking forward to it.  If you'd like to join an online book club, there are plenty of options out there, from a group on Good Reads, to bulletin boards, to blogs. Or, please join me in reading Gathering Blue on Club Nook!

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

June 18, 2012

Sidekicks

Sidekicks by Jack Ferraiolo



There are actually 3 relatively new books with this title, so be careful which you choose! This book is young adult and above for an adult situation at the beginning of the book and a romance later on. It is the story of Scott Hutchinson, the secret identity of Bright Boy. Bright Boy is the sidekick of superhero Phantom Justice. Though cast as the hero, Scott begins to question his role in the world and just exactly who is right and wrong. this is a fantastic superhero story that takes some surprising twists and turns. I recommend this for fans of comics. A great read for boys, as well. The story really draws you in. This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

June 15, 2012

Mrs. Noodlekugel


Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrations by Adam Stower



Admittedly, I'm a big Daniel Pinkwater fan.  I know his work is not for everyone, simply for it's absurdity, but I like it. In Mrs. Noodlekugel, he introduces us to two children who live in a high rise apartment building with a strange little house in the backyard.  In the house we meet a cast of zany characters including Mrs. Noodlekugel, who is to be their baby sitter, and Mr. Fuzzface, the talking cat. This all too short book is the beginning of a series that holds much promise. A prefect book for younger children who are just starting to get into chapter books. This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

June 14, 2012

Sync YA Starts TODAY!

Sync YA begins today (got my text message at 6:45 this morning!).

The first set of downloads is The 11th Plague by Jeff Hirsch and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  Both are available for download this week only.  If you haven't used Overdrive for audio books, you'll need to download and install that first.

Click for the SyncYA website.

Enjoy!

Until next time, bon voyage and happy listening!

June 13, 2012

The Memory Bank

The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman, illustrations by Rob Shepperson



This is a cute book that uses the text and pictures trick to tell a story.  Although there aren't as many pictures as there are in other books of this genre (for example, Wonderstruck by Brian Seltzer), the pictures do add a lot of depth to the story. This book tells about Hope, who's name is very appropriate. One day Hope's parents leave her little sister, Honey, on the side of the road. Hope continues to hope that she will be reunited with her sister, but retreats into sleep and dreams to be with her. One day, Hope gets a letter demanding to know why her dream balance is larger than her memory balance. After that she makes a trip to a magical world where dreams and memories are stored, The Memory Bank. This is a delightful book that I recommend for fans of light fantasy. This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

June 11, 2012

Say Something Perico


Say Something Perico by Trudy Harris, illustrated by Cecilia Rebora



This is the story of a parrot who never seems to know the right thing to say in order to be adopted from the pet store. He speaks Spanish and begins to learn some English in hopes of finding a suitable owner. After repeated rejections for what he doesn't say, he finally finds a family that appreciates him for what he does say. The back of the book has a dictionary of the Spanish words he says. This was a cute little story and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a few Spanish words. The pictures are cute and fit the story well.

This review is based on a publisher supplied electronic copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

June 8, 2012

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes


Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean, illustrated by Eric Litwin



This is such a fun little book. In it, a cat wearing white shoes walks through things that change the color of his shoes, but despite it all, he's cool and nothing bothers him. If you read this book, you really have to download the audio file from the Harper Collins website and listen to it that way (or you can download it without reading the book, but you are really missing some great illustrations if you do). What a fun way to introduce colors and an easy going, accept what may attitude. I highly recommend this book, but you have to sing Pete's song if you read it! There are more Pete the Cat books, and I look forward to reading the rest. A highly recommended picture book for young readers.

This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

June 6, 2012

Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Seaside Shenanigans


Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Seaside Shenanigans by Chris Monroe



I have never seen this series of books before. It is a very clever idea. A monkey with a tool belt named Chico Bon Bon helps other animals out by fixing, repairing, and making things with his tools. In this book, Chico must help find what is causing problems at his friend Clark's uncle's resort. He fixes things that are broken just to find other things that need fixing pop up. The illustrations are great - colorful and cartoonish and include clever labels on one page for all the things inside the tool belt. This is a cute, fun book that I recommend to all tinkers of any age.

This review is based on a publisher supplied electronic copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading.

June 4, 2012

Little Pink Pup


Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby



This cute picture book is the story of a runt pig who is adopted by a dachshund and treated as one of her own. Pink, the pig, is treated like just another member of Tink, the dog's family. It's a tender story told with pictures instead of illustrations (making this literally a picture book, pun intended!). I really enjoyed this story of animals acting in a way that not all people would. I liked the book so much, I bought a copy for my family. I recommend this book for animal fans, as well as families where everyone doesn't look the same. This book won the Washington Children's Choice Award in 2012.

This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!

June 1, 2012

The Cheerleaders of Doom


Cheerleaders of Doom by Michael Buckley



OK, I admit it. I absolutely love this series. It makes me laugh out loud every time I read one of them. This series tells the story of 5 kids, all nerds for various reasons, who are super secret agents as well as middle school students. Their very weaknesses are what give them their powers. In this, the third book in the series, Matilda "Wheezer" Choi, who has asthma and super powered inhalers, is recruited to infiltrate a national cheer leading competition in order to track down a criminal mastermind who can travel to alternate dimension versions of earth in order to steal valuables from them. The team's arch enemy Heathcliff is back to help, but has ulterior motives as usual. The humor is decidedly tongue incheek, and it reads as if it's a twisted spy novel. I recommend this book for fans of humor and spy novels.

This review is based on a library copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading!